Aims: We study the connection between the masing disk and obscuring torus in Seyfert 2 galaxies.
Methods: We present a uniform X-ray spectral analysis of the high energy properties of 14 nearby megamaser active galactic nuclei observed by NuSTAR. We use a simple analytical model to localize the maser disk and understand its connection with the torus by combining NuSTAR spectral parameters with the available physical quantities from VLBI mapping.
Results: Most of the sources that we analyzed are heavily obscured, showing a column density in excess of ~1023 cm-2; in particular, 79% are Compton-thick (NH > 1.5 × 1024 cm-2). When using column densities measured by NuSTAR with the assumption that the torus is the extension of the maser disk, and further assuming a reasonable density profile, we can predict the torus dimensions. They are found to be consistent with mid-IR interferometry parsec-scale observations of Circinus and NGC 1068. In this picture, the maser disk is intimately connected to the inner part of the torus. It is probably made of a large number of molecular clouds that connect the torus and the outer part of the accretion disk, giving rise to a thin disk rotating in most cases in Keplerian or sub-Keplerian motion. This toy model explains the established close connection between water megamaser emission and nuclear obscuration as a geometric effect.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- May 2016
- galaxies: active;
- galaxies: Seyfert;
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- 14 pages, 8 figures, accepted for publication by A&